My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅) -- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One Year Ago Today (July 13, 2010/2011)

Today, it's raining. I'm admiring the fact that the new rain gutters on my house are actually working; it's the first rainstorm in a couple of years not accompanied by a curtain of water cascading over the edge of the misaligned, leaky, crammed with organic stuff, badly-hung-in-the-first-place garin gutters and blocking my view of... well, more falling water, just not falling water that was damaging my yard, the lower parts of my roof, etc.  (For reference, yesterday I wrote out one of the 10 largest checks I've ever written and handed it over to the nice guy who'd spent a number of days repairing & repainting the outside of my house. So what if he didn't show up 2 weeks ago as planned, or kept pushing back the new start date, or that the paint my HOA absotively posilutely REQUIRES be used not being on the market any more because it had too high a lead content, or... well, you get the idea. <sigh> "A house is a hole in the ground into which one pours money.")


It was even hotter than it is now, but it was bright & sunny or hazy, no rain. Our first breakfast with the Pipsqueak was fun -- AJ began working on a whole 'nother way of eating while holding a squirmy, inquisitive, hungry 13-month-old in her lap -- and then we all went back to the same place we'd first met the little ones the day before to finalize paperwork, hand over official gifts, and so on.

Ironically, the day's highlight was a shopping trip to Wal-Mart ("Dude, you don't even shop at Wal-Mart back home!"); I was distracted from yet another of the are-we-in-a-Communist-nation-or-not moments that kept twisting my mind into a pretzel by our bus literally getting stuck in the parking garage (note to driver: height of bus > height of ceiling DOES NOT EQUAL "enter"). We bought a new stroller (all 3 families bought the same one so we spent the rest of the trip looking like a troop on parade), then walked past yet another of those mind-blowingly massive outdoor TV screens we saw almost everywhere to return to our miraculously unscathed bus on a nearby street. We had a nice "longevity nap" back at the hotel, and basically spent the day getting to know the Pipsqueak better. I took a few photos of neon-lit downtown Nanning at night, and we packed for the next morning's departure for Guilin... via bus... oy...

But we had Miri (no longer just "the baby") with us; it was a good day. :-)

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